California, James Monroe, Liberia, Monrovia, places that suck, Travels With Tardsie, urban blight
Today our travels take us to the exotic metropolis of Monrovia.
Monrovia is located in the West African nation of Liberia. The troubled republic’s capital is named for American president James Monroe. Although the city is the financial hub of Liberia and boasts an impressive harbor, the metropolis is known primarily for being a fly-blown hellhole.
However, my travels haven’t taken me to the dark continent, but rather to one of our many fine domestic fly-blown hellholes, Monrovia, California. According to Wikipedia, Monrovia (pop. 36,590) has served as the filming location for several (largely unnamed) television and movie productions. It boasts among its native sons such luminaries as Francis M. Pottenger, Jr., Corky King, and the dude who invented pool-cue chalk.
As many of you already know, I’ve ventured to this blighted and joyless place to attend the wedding of my dear friend Dave.¹ Although I stayed the night in Monrovia, it isn’t my final destination. I could have stayed the night a little closer to Dave’s wedding, but it’s in El Monte, and–c’mon–fuck that. If I can, I avoid staying overnight in any town that starts with “El.” And that most definitely includes LA.
El Guapo said:
Hey, I got married on a Thursday.
As if I would expect anything less from a play-by-his-own-rules iconoclast like yourself. Now EVERYBODY’s gonna get married on Thursday.
I’ve Never Married…
…But Can Assure You, Dude, I’d NEVER Get Married On A Wednesday.
Weddings Should Always Be On A Saturday, And Should ALWAYS Include An “Open-Bar” At The Reception, Turning Sunday Into Recuperationday.
Just An Opinion, OF COURSE. 😉
My second wedding was on a Thursday. The old man and I both had vacation days and Thursday’s a slow day at the court house. I’m glad we didn’t spend a butt load of money, considering.
The only thing I personally had to drop money on was the rehearsal dinner. It was costy, but money well-spent. We had it on a big boat that cruises around the harbor (kind of a smallish riverboat). It took three passes around the harbor, and after the first pass, which was the dinner for the people in the wedding party and family, the boat docked briefly and all the other wedding guests were invited for the next two passes around the harbor. It was a really good time.
It sounds like Dave knows how to entertain. I bet it was fun.
My wedding was on a Saturday. We didn’t have an open bar (that would have broken me) but our guests drank their fill of wine and beer.
I couldn’t drink at Dave’s reception, because I had a 230 mile drive ahead of me. In my advancing age, alcohol affects me more profoundly than it did when I was younger. Even one drink kinda ruins me for the day.
William Miller said:
Interestingly, Liberia’s president, a Harvard educated woman, and has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Meanwhile, Monrovia, CA’s mayor, Mary Ann Lutz, was a Theater Arts major, Boise State U., class of ’82. I’m guessing she was a big Pat Benatar fan.
So, which Monrovia is in better hands?
Honestly, I’d feel safer with the Pat Benatar fan. The Nobel Peace Prize has become laughable. Maybe next year they’ll give it to Syria’s Assad.
William Miller said:
Actually, I find myself having to agree with you on that.
Birds of a feather, you know? If they could give the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama, they might as well have given it to Saddam Hussein.
Carrie Rubin said:
One more red pin for Tardsie’s travel map.
I’m not sure that some of my recent destinations (Monrovia, Fresno, the Dakota Territory) rate pins, though. Perhaps just a smudge of of some unidentified substance?
My next trip? It’s in keeping with the theme–your home away from home, Las Vegas!
Carrie Rubin said:
A smudge of poo oughtta do it.
Watch out for the booby cards in Vegas. People have been known to trip and break bones over those things, so littered about on the ground are they.
Not to worry. The little lady (and lest you think I’m being sexist, there are over 15″ in height separating my wife and I) and I will probably be there for less than 24 hours. We’re just going for a concert, and won’t have time to frolic with the Topless Girls of Glitter Gulch.
Carrie Rubin said:
I suspect your wife will appreciate that.
Madame Weebles said:
Have you been approached yet by the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce about a job? Because I think you have a real knack for making these destinations sound heavenly.
Thank you, M. Weebles! If you think this is glowing, you should read my travelogues about Paris. Well, you should read them, that is, if I’d actually written them. But let me assure you that if I had, they would be most opinionated.
Excellent snark! What is that about getting married on a Wednesday? Does Dave and/or his bride work in retail and neither gets weekends off?
Dave has a good job; I think his bride is a homemaker. But when I got home I saw in the news that LA (and maybe other cities as well) was inundated with marriages on 12.12.12. People think it’s because of the date, but I think it’s in homage to Solomon Grundy:
Solomon Grundy, born on a Monday,
Christened on a stark and stormy Tuesday,
Married on a gray and grisly Wednesday,
Took ill on a mild and mellow Thursday,
Grew worse on a bright and breezy Friday,
Died on a gay and glorious Saturday,
Buried on a baking, blistering Sunday.
That was the end of Solomon Grundy.
I totally blanked on the 12.12.12. craze. Thank you for enlightening me about Solomon Grundy. That bit of trivia might come in convenient some day, unless I blank on it, too.
Completely ignorant of who Corky was, I checked. I’d love to read piece you wrote on his “philosophy and religion” as Wikipedia so generously calls it. And here I thought mummification was for the Egyptians! Perhaps a Monravian encounter with a Summumite?
Who gets married on a Wednesdasy? lol ! Your friend, Dave.
Alex Autin said:
Who gets married on a Wednesday? People who get all geeky about things like 12/12/12……
Yeah–apparently! I found out last night that there were a whole bunch of wedding chapel weddings yesterday, at least in LA.
But marriage is just an unnatural and restrictive form of self-induced slavery. I know, I know–that’s probably a little shocking to you, who has such a Hallmark Card view of the institution of matrimony, but sometimes you have to stop seeing the world through rose-colored glasses.
Alex Autin said:
LOL! Smak!! All I said was that the marriage contract is completely asinine. How do I know? Just try to get out of it….
At least you didn’t have to spend $300 on a fugly dress AND have to spend the night in Detroit!
That’s true. My dress was gorgeous.
We spent our honeymoon in New Orleans, which is in many ways analogous to Detroit, but without a choker ball club.
One thing I did find humorous in my mandatory and expensive attendance at my sister’s wedding is they were stupid enough to pay for an open bar. Given that my sister’s friends all have the same gargantuan tolerance for alcohol as she does, I bet that cost them a few grand at least.
Photographic tour of Monrovia is requested. Please!
Alas, I failed to get pictures of the decaying city. It was mostly laziness, but also because Monrovians believe that photographs steal your soul.
They’re a simple people.
I’m betting you had a great time at Dave’s wedding! Sometimes, it’s nice to see one of your long time friends find that special person and start out on a new journey. Marriage can definitely be an adventure! (I always loved that movie, “The Wedding Singer” – yeah, say what you want!)
I never thought about people rushing to get married on 12.12.12. That kinda cracks me up….(I’ve been thinking all this time that was the ‘end of the world date’…) I wish I had married the guy who invented pool cue chalk – I bet he was a keeper!
Luddy's Lens said:
Nah, Monrovia’s not so bad; they filmed part of “Grosse Pointe Blank” there (unrecognizable now, but in the 90s I coulda i.d.’d each downtown building). Besides, Pottenger did nice things for cats.
Now, El Monte: There’s a genuine sh*thole.
california – so many sh*tholes surrounded by so much beauty, it’s almost like new york. 😉 xo, sm